Governor Paterson continued his recent spate of media appearances on CNBC’s Squawk Box this morning, issuing a strong challenge to the “phantom people who say they’re running for governor.” “I keep hearing about all these people who are running for office,” Paterson said. “If you had any courage, if you wanted to be a leader in a crisis, get up and say what you’d do now that was different than what we’ve done.” Paterson has echoed this idea earlier that once the other candidates are forced to take public positions on difficult issues, it’ll become clear that Paterson’s decisions were necessary and the voters will realize that he hasn’t been all that bad. At the same time, though, neither Andrew Cuomo nor Rudy Giuliani have declared a run for governor yet, formally or informally, so it’s not really cowardly that they haven’t begun campaigning thirteen months in advance. Paterson may want the election to start now because, you know, why the hell not try to create some momentum for yourself? But since it’s probably going to end terribly for him anyway, he might as well be patient.